Every year our patron HRH Duke of York KG invites the winners of the TeenTech Awards to Buckingham Palace to receive their prizes. It’s a very special and exciting day – which for many teams begins at dawn in airports and railway stations all over the UK.

It’s a very special day for us too as we feel so proud of the students, teachers and company mentors.

When the Duke of York meets the teams, it’s also an opportunity to hear some very candid comments from both teachers and students on what has been learnt from the whole process.

It’s also a chance for our Royal patron to catch up informally and see how TeenTech provides a powerful progression route for students through our age appropriate initiatives. Lucy who won the Design and Construction category first participated in the TeenTech South Yorkshire regional event three years ago. This sparked an interest in construction which she was able to develop with The TeenTech Award programme.She has now been offered work experience with sponsor Atkins and recently represented TeenTech at an international  conference.

The Awards programme provides a valuable springboard for students and schools –  Lucy isn’t alone in being offered work experience and others have been given Arkwright and Bloomberg scholarships and the opportunity to develop their ideas.

Five years into the TeenTech Awards programme we’re also seeing the significant long term benefits the programme has brought to entire school communities. The winner of the Teacher of the Year explained how their school has seen a 300% rise in the number of students choosing Design and Technology since they began working with TeenTech and that they are now able to offer Engineering as a subject.

Alton Convent has seen the number of students choosing Physics GCSE rise to 87.5% over three years of engagement. One of the reasons has been the active promotion of science and technology through their Young TeenTech Ambassadors. Lauren was recognised for her work,not only in inspiring young people in her own school but for mentoring students in Spain,Hungary and Finland who entering the Awards this year.She thought she’d only been invited as a guest to accompany the winning Hungarian team and it was very moving to see how genuinely overwhelmed she was to be formally recognised as the TeenTech Gold Ambassador of the Year.

BBC Technology Correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones interviewed students about the visibility of female role models.The influence of the diverse young role models with their peers is one of the real triumphs of the TeenTech Award programme

Check out our Flickr pics (661 ! )  to see the pride in the eyes of every student and teacher. And if you want to join us for 2018, please register here for a Teacher Pack